SHA News // Matt Tolfrey / Word Of Mouth [Leftroom]
Artist: Matt Tolfrey
Title: ‘Word of Mouth’ LP
Label: Leftroom Records
Release: October 1st, 2012
‘Word of Mouth’ is the October released debut album from the tireless Leftroom Records boss and producer/DJ, Matt Tolfrey.
Featuring a rich selection of talent, from the relatively new such as James Teej, Jem Cooke and Kevin Knapp, to legends like Marshall Jefferson and Ya Kid K, ‘Word Of Mouth’ is a return to the feel of classic house albums of old where collaborations with vocalists, engineers and mix engineers were worn as a badge of honour.
Matt Tolfrey is a fixture of modern house music that can feel a definite sense of pride over his achievements. Once a young upstart who was championed by DJs as diverse as Craig Richards and Pete Tong, he’s now a mentor to many via his various Leftroom imprints while still retaining the obsessive and energetic enthusiasm for music and it’s machinations.
A recording artist who has released on Cocoon, Rekids, Crosstown Rebels, Saved, Culprit and more, Tolfrey’s touch in the studio is undoubted but with ‘Word of Mouth’ we’re treated to a unique insight into his influences, working methods and what makes him tick.
‘I cannot play the piano and I am not professionally trained in any way musically, but through years of DJing I know exactly what I like, and I have great tracks in my head that need to get out. While searching the Internet for alternate ideas of making music, I came across some amazing software that enables you to simply sing or hum into a mic, which then translates into midi notes, which you then use as the basis of your tracks. In essence, it means that while I am walking the streets, or away travelling, and I come up with an idea for a bassline, or a melody, I can simply record it into my phone, return home, and sing it into the computer. In other words, ‘in theory’ the album is mainly going to be written with my mouth, not my fingers, and then fully realised with the help of engineers and guest vocalists – hence the name ‘Word Of Mouth’.
(Matt Tolfrey, June 2012)
From opening cut ‘Encarta’, it’s obvious that ‘Word of Mouth’ is Tolfrey wearing his influences proudly. Any fans of 1990s deep house can feel the soul of classic British deep house imprints like Paper and DIY Discs (the latter notable as a heavy presence in Tolfrey’s beloved Nottingham during his University years), albeit with subtle and respectful modern twists.
Dubbed in places (‘The Truth’ with Marshall Jefferson), electronic in some (‘Never Assume’ with James Teej) and direct in others (‘The Spooks’ with Kevin Knapp packs a real, penultimate-trackpunch), ‘Word Of Mouth’s continuing theme is elegantly employed melodies regardless of tone. A listen that drags you through from opener to the sublime, broken closer (‘Not So Little’ feat Kevin Knapp), ‘Word of Mouth’ is a mature, masterful debut from a cherished UK talent.
2. Never Assume (feat. James Teej)
3. The Truth (feat Marshall Jefferson)
4. Downtown (feat Kevin Knapp)
5. Mission to Paradise (feat Jem Cooke)
6. Darkside of The Disco Ball
7. Turn You Out (feat Ya Kid K)
8. Distant Story (feat Jem Cooke & Kevin Knapp)
9. The Spooks (feat Kevin Knapp)
10. Not So Little (feat Kevin Knapp)